The Union Cabinet accords approval to establish and operationalise the national academic depository (NAD) which is set to come up in the next three months to digitally store school learning certificates.
NAD will be rolled out fully throughout the country in the next fiscal.
Reasons for Rolling Out Digitized Academic Records
- With the introduction of digital certificates, the use of paper certificates for verification of academic records will be removed.
- NAD will be executed within the next three months and will be rolled out fully across the country in the next fiscal i.e. 2017-18.
Important milestone in higher education – Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, Human Resource Development.
- The digital certifications will bring transparency.
- The aim of the decision is to bring another dimension and enhancement of the vision of Digital India.
- A budget speech given by Finance Minister had incorporated the commitment to establish a Digital Depository for school learning degrees, certificates, and other academic awards of higher education institutions.
- The NAD would be operationalised by CDSL Ventures, Limited (CVL) and NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) – two of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Depositories registered under Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act, 1992.
Such a system in place it would become much easier to spot fake degrees.
Role of the National Academic Depository (NAD)
- The responsibility for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded would be on academic institutions. Also, these institutions would upload the data into the system.
- The integrity of the data in the NAD will be ensured by depositories.
- The NAD will register students, boards, educational institutions, eligibility assessment bodies, and other users like academic institutions, government agencies, employer companies, banks, etc.
- Digital or printed copy of the academic award with security features to the students or other authorized users will be provided.
- These academic awards will be verified by NAD online on the same day of the request initiated by any authorized user.
- Requests for access to academic awards from potential employers and academic institutions would be only on the basis of the consent of the student.
- The NAD is supposed to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of its database.
Other than these responsibilities, they will also train and facilitate academic institutions to efficiently lodge academic awards in the database.
Other Important decisions
The Cabinet gave the ex-post facto nod for the formation of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur Society and its operationalization in a transit campus from the current academic year 2016-17. A cost of Rs 152.79 crore for the initial three years (2016-19) would be involved.
These institutes have been declared as institutes of national importance and are going to carry out research in frontier areas of science and provide quality science education at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Earlier there were five IISERs at Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Thiruvananthapuram, while another IISER was set up at Tirupati in 2015.
What could be the possible challenges with Digital Certificates?